John Mozeliak indicates Cardinals remaining patient with Paul DeJong
St. Louis president of baseball operations John Mozeliak indicates that the Cardinals are remaining patient with Paul DeJong.
The St. Louis Cardinals’ biggest gamble this offseason was easily betting on Paul DeJong. Instead of pursuing Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, Marcus Semien, Corey Seager or Javier Baez, they stood by DeJong and his .197/.284/.390 slashline.
It looks like a massive mistake.
DeJong, 28, has somehow been worse this season. He’s hitting .138/.231/.241 with one home run and four RBI in 65 plate appearances, but the organization is remaining patient with DeJong, as Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak told The Athletic: “We’re still trying to figure out what we have here with (DeJong), so we’re trying to give him every opportunity possible. If things don’t change trajectory or direction, then ultimately we’re probably going to have to do something different.”
Mozeliak then said that while DeJong is struggling, that it has been an odd start to the regular season for teams across the league, specifically on offense. Numbers across the board are down and combined with a shortened spring training. Added Mozeliak: “We want to remain patient.”
It would be hard not to blame the Cardinals being frustrated with DeJong. They signed him to a six-year, $26 million contract extension years ago with the belief he could be their long-term shortstop. He has struggled ever since and now, after passing on a historically great offseason of free-agent shortstops, they are behind the eight ball.
The good news, however, is that Nolan Gorman looms in the minors and is getting close to debuting. But he has played primarily second base in Triple-A, so once he’s called up, it’s likely he plays second while Tommy Edman shifts to shortstop.
Which would leave DeJong as the odd man out. Could he be optioned to Triple-A? A bench bat? Designated for assignment?
At this point, all options should be on the table, and they’ll have to make a decision at some point soon. But it appears they’ll continue to ride it out with DeJong in the meantime.